NEW YORK (CN) – Angelo Nicosia, a mobster associated with nationwide Mafia family La Cosa Nostra, was found guilty of extortion and extortion conspiracy following a week-long trial. Nicosia and at least six other members of the Genovese organized-crime family intimidated a construction contractor into paying them $50,000.
In 1997, after the contractor hired Nicosia to work at his New Jersey construction site, Nicosia claimed that the contractor owed him tens of thousands of dollars for work Nicosia hadn’t actually done. Nicosia was friends with Genovese crew captain Angelo Prisco, so when the contractor refused to pay, Peter Rizzo, a member of the Genovese crew run by Prisco, went to the New Jersey site and broke a coffee pot over the head of the contractor’s business partner. The business partner suffered serious cranial and facial injuries, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in in Manhattan.
Nicosia renewed his efforts to intimidate the contractor in 2004. He brought two other Prisco crew members, John “Rocky” Melicharek and Michael Iuni, to the New Jersey site. The three men threatened to attack the contractor and his family if he refused to pay the thousands of dollars Nicosia said he owed. The contractor gave Nicosia $50,000 to avoid violence.
Nicosia and his co-conspirators gave Prisco $10,000 as a “tribute” and split the rest of the money among themselves.
Nicosia is the seventh defendant to be convicted in this case. The six other convicted defendants all pleaded guilty to charges ranging from extortion to robbery and gun offenses. The last indicted defendant, Gjelosh “Jimmy” Krasniqi, remains at large.
The government says the Genovese crime family runs corrupt Brooklyn construction union Local 14. The family is the subject of a pending federal lawsuit to ban convicted mobsters from union participation. The government also wants a court-appointed lawyer to overhaul the union.
Nicosia is set to be sentenced by Judge Shira Scheindlin on Oct. 30. He faces up to 40 years in prison.